Early in May,
when frost had warmed,
King and Kernel pulled the disc, again and again,
over our half-acre garden plot
pitched between our farm house and the orchard.
Wood stakes, sledged home by Dad and
harnessed by taut twine that shadowed
straight rows thirty-six inches apart,
the garden was planted with beets,
carrots, green beans and tomatoes,
all imprisoned in tall hog-wire cages.
Later in August,
apples falling, tomatoes turning,
corn tassels dusting,
beets and carrots toiling,
all prompted Mom to boil five-hundred quart jars
in time for the holy harvest.
Beets and their dirt partners were blanched,
sliced and spooned through a funnel
perched atop the jar.
We listened to their popping lids
into the night as they waited for their journey
to our earthen cellar where they rested
on wood shelves until suppertime